POLITICS
07/21/2010 06:20 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

GOP Senator Lindsey Graham May Pay High Political Price For Supporting Elena Kagan

Sen. Lindsey Graham's decision to support President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, makes it increasingly likely the South Carolina Republican will face a primary challenge when he's up for re-election in 2014.

Graham, a moderate Republican, became the first GOP Senator to signal he would back the high court pick on Tuesday when he was the only member of his party on the Senate Judiciary Committee to cast a "yes" vote on Kagan's nomination.

The Post's Chris Cillizza reports that South Carolina political gurus say Graham's support for Kagan "ensures he will face a serious primary challenge":

"It's no longer a question of 'if' but 'who' and 'how many'," said one South Carolina Republican operative about a Graham primary challenge. The source added that Graham's approach on high profile issues of late is "putting Lindsey's friends and supporters in a really tough place."

Richard Quinn, a Graham consultant, defended his client -- noting that the Senator is "not a demagogue". Added Quinn: "He's a thinking person's conservative. I expect him to do well among voters with IQ's in triple digits."

This isn't the first time the Republican Senator has found himself at odds with members of the South Carolina GOP community.

Earlier this month, Graham was criticized as "out of touch" for making disparaging comments about the Tea Party movement. The Republican Senator has also been censured by multiple GOP groups in his home state for working with Democrats on climate change legislation as well as for voting in favor of the Wall Street bailout.